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If you owned property...
Old 03-12-2011, 08:40 AM   #1
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If you owned property...

I've been getting the family ready to move (the Army is sending me to Colorado Springs), and I am now filling out an application for a rental in the area. There is a section on the application for Residence History, and under that, there is a line to indicate a previous landlord.

Written in small print beneath the line, it says:
Quote:
(If you owned property, please indicate lender.)
Um... Wow. I just got a wave of unease when reading that.

It obviously assumes that if I "owned" property at my previous residence, I must have had a lender. What if I didn't have a lender? What if I had bought my previous residence and owned it outright? Does that mean my application would get turned down because I couldn't provide a chronicle of my debts?

Ok, I know that is taking it to extremes, but still, it's just a little bit creepy.

Joshua
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:45 AM   #2
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As a Landlady, I think you may be over reacting.

If you have a lender, the Landlord/Rental Manager just wants to see that payments are made on a timely basis and if the financial obligation will strain your ability to pay the rent to Landlord.

If you own the property free & clear, well it just don't get better than that!

JMHO.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:51 AM   #3
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Oh, I don't doubt that checking on someone's payment history makes sense. I wouldn't want to rent or sell to someone without confidence that the person could actually afford to make his payments to me. I expect to have some rentals one of these days, so I try to think of how things work from a landlord's perspective.

This was just one of those times when my sense of semantics threw up a red flag. If I have a lender on a piece of property, after all, how much can I say I actually "own" it? I technically "own" my car... but if I stopped paying my note every month, the fallacy of my supposed ownership would become clear very quickly!
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:00 AM   #4
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If you owned a home without a mortgage you would be in a very small minority. Agree that you are overreacting.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:02 AM   #5
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Joshua,

You never really "own" property. Even if you don't have a mortgage, you still have to pay property tax or the state will take away your property (although it may take quite a while). You are effectively "renting" your property from the state and county governments. So don't get hung up on the semantics; just say "owned in full, no lender" or some such. If whoever's checking your paperwork is truly filled with zeal, they may ask for a copy of your deed.

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Old 03-12-2011, 11:48 AM   #6
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Tangentially, is being sent to Colorado Springs a good thing (I would think it is )?
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:05 PM   #7
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The landlord is going to run a credit check on you no mater what you ans. It will pop up loans and your payment history. Identifying the lender & your monthly PITI will speed evaluation of whether you meet the landlords affordability criteria. Additionally it will provide recourse information if you default on the lease / rental agreement.

You are applying for use of someone property worth at least 1/4 M (as least in CA). The application intent is to assure the landlord that you'll live up to the lease / rental agreement and provide information to recover damages if you don't.

Pretty standard approach.

As to the definition of "own" property, it pretty clear. If you have a registered deed you own it. The mortgage is a lien on your ownership. You put up your ownership right as security that you'll fulfill the lending contract. The bank does not own the property. If they did they would not have to go to court or hold an auction to get the deed in their name.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
This was just one of those times when my sense of semantics threw up a red flag. If I have a lender on a piece of property, after all, how much can I say I actually "own" it? I technically "own" my car... but if I stopped paying my note every month, the fallacy of my supposed ownership would become clear very quickly!
You very much own the house and car, you just also have associated debt. NBD.

As for the LL specific question, welcome to the grubby little world of credit analysis.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Danmar View Post
If you owned a home without a mortgage you would be in a very small minority. Agree that you are overreacting.

Well, I didn't say I wasn't going to apply for the rental because I thought the guy was out to "get me" or something. *shrug* Doesn't anything that people say, quite casually and reasonably for the context, ever make you think when you step back for a minute and consider what it reveals about the cultural assumptions surrounding it?

In this case, considering the wording reveals that it is virtually unknown in our culture to "own" something that does not have debt attached to it. The familiarity means it is more or less accepted. Maybe if we did not accept debt this readily, people would have less of it? Or at least less bad debt? Hmm.... It is just interesting to see what value judgements have filtered into casual parlance. Language reflects culture, and the US has a financial culture of debt.

I think some of the folks in this thread are defending this individual landlord, but I didn't mean anything against her. My alarm was more from a sociological standpoint. Perhaps I should have made that more clear.

Joshua
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Tangentially, is being sent to Colorado Springs a good thing (I would think it is )?
Actually, yes. That is the exact assignment I requested, so I am pretty pleased with it. Everyone who has worked out at Fort Carson in the past tells me that the area is excellent and that the post facilities are equally good. It is actually one of the few areas I have not been able to get someone to complain about, so that has to say something for it.

We've already started looking around for fun activities to put the kids into while we're there. Getting them various things to do has been hard in Germany, simply because the on-post stuff here is really unreliable and the local activities all happen in a language they don't know.

So, yes, we're looking forward to this move. I don't know how long I'll be there to enjoy the new location, though. The grapevine has some deployment schedules being tossed around, so I might go there, head to who-knows-where for a year, finish my BA while I'm out, and then come back just in time to drop off my OCS (Officer's Candidate School) application, at which point I would be off to OCS (if selected), and we might all move to wherever I wind up doing my branch training at. I might only be there for a few months as far as actually being there person.

Oh well. That is what I signed up for! At least I know my family will enjoy living someplace nice.

Joshua
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
It obviously assumes that if I "owned" property at my previous residence, I must have had a lender.
Us landlords just copy those forms off the Internet and go fishing for everything we can get.

I'd say there's a vanishingly small chance that someone filling out a rental application ever owned their property free & clear.

As for Colorado Springs, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the concept of being sent somewhere by the military just because that's what you asked them to do...
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